Helpful Hank Memories of my Dad
Hello folks, Helpful Hank here. I have been working on a great many projects lately. I always thing of my Dad when I’m working on projects. From the time I was a little boy in Elementary school and he helped me build a windmill from my Erector Set as an example of wind power for my one and only science fair project until his passing, he instilled a love of being creative. He also instilled this idea of recycling, reusing and re-purposing items.
One of the biggest projects my dad took on was building a horizontal water well driller. He had no more knowledge then knowing the basics. If he didn’t know something he would find it out. It is funny I look back and I never remember my dad as being the avid reader. My mother was always the avid read. My dad? He read when he needed to or necessity calls for it . Later he got into reading westerns but for the most part it was instruction manuals and how to books..
My dad ( he never liked to be called father it was always dad.) had this en ate ability to learn things very quickly. He also was very good at adapting things to meet the needs for the task or project at hand.
After my father had his first heart attack and open heart surgery he tried to go back to his old job but the stress proved to be to much. He was forced to retire early which left his pension short.
With my father home full time my mother was going a bit crazy. She wasn’t used to him being around so much. My mother went to work. My father was a bit lost at that point. What is it they say “Necessity is the mother of invention”? And it was. The well was slowing down and my father was fearing that it might go dry. Seeing as they had to tighten their belts because of my fathers early retirement, my father decided to figure out away to do it himself and he did.
My father took an old rototiller and taking off the tillers on the bottom created and welded some slider brackets to the bottom then he created a set of rails for the rototiller to slide forward and back on. He then adapted the motor so that (the old style rototiller were open on the front exposing most of the drum of the motor which in turn was covered over by a metal mesh )Similar to the one pictured here.
He could fit a pipe extending from the drum. He the welded Diamond tipped drill bits to the end of a pipe. Using a garden hose to keep the drill area wet he started drilling into the side of the hill. Each one of us, my brothers and I, worked with him on this well. My father ended up turning a need for a water supply into a business to help support his family when he was left with very little to do so after a bad set of circumstances.
One of my most favorite memories of my dad was shortly after he had started up his well drilling business. He had brought in some extra money from a job around that Christmas. My father took each of us boys on a mini shopping spree ( a surprise in and of it self.) and for me that was a trip to J.C. Penny’s mens department. (I was a Junior in high school) Where I chose out four outfits shirt pants and sweater. My father made me chose only three. I did and we bought them and where on our way. Christmas morning my father hand’s me one of the box’s I am sure is one of the items we shopped for together. I open it up trying to look all cool and I see this smirk on my mom and dads face. The one they would get when we thought we knew it all. As I tare open the wrapping and then pry open the box I look down in disbelief! My dad had gone back to the store found the exact outfit that I had chosen and bought it, wrapped it (mostly likely store wrap.(remember store wrap it was the free basic wrap offered in Department store wrapping centers.).) and now I was staring at it wondering when he had time to do this since we had only gone two days before Christmas. I was amazed that he remembered the outfit. But that was my dad. My dad was happy to teach you anything he knew but there was always a catch. You did the work while he gave instruction and would stop you if you were about to break something or strip something. For me this was the best way to learn, hands on. I think he knew this with me and my older brother very early on and this was a teaching method that worked well for him in teaching us.
These are a couple of my fathers basic fix it rules
1.When tightening things up hand tight + three to four extra turn. “You want it snug” he would say, then follow up with “But you want to be able to get it back off if you need to.2.“Don’t force it., You force it your going to break it, or strip it!
My Father was a very ingenious man. One year my father asked my mother what she wanted for Easter. She just started signing Janis’s O’l Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz. So for Easter her egg contained a classic 1966 Burgundy colored Sedan. Every trip to the shop was $500.00 just to look under the hood. There became to many of those. Instead of scrapping my mothers dream car (it sits on the hill to this day) he bought a book and with the help my best friends dad (They lived across the road from us) who had been an airline mechanic, my dad set out to learn all he needed to know about German engineering so that he could fix my mothers car. In no time the two of them had figured out what was wrong and were left wondering why Favio the Italian Mechanic who knew all about ‘German Engineering” couldn’t figure out that it was just a seal that needed replacing. He and the neighbor replace the seal and Favio never saw another of my dad’s hard earned nickles.
I have learned a lot from my dad over the years. Even now that he is gonna I still learn from him.
My dad was always quick with a laugh , a joke and especially with a song. What he wasn’t was long on words of wisdom. My dad wasn’t that kind of teacher. My dad taught by example and hands on. He always believed the best way to learn something is do just do it! In guiding someone through how to do something, he gave them the opportunity to see how it is done not just watch how it’s done. My dads method of teaching was to fully engage you in the learning. To make lesson have greater impact.
Every Dad teaches their children lessons. Whether it’s the good kinds that I received growing up or in the the case of some others it the lessons that sew the seeds or anger and distrust. We all need to be aware as Dad’s and men that the most important lesson we can teach our children that they are loved always and that we as Dad will do everything we can to be there. And as children who become parents we must make our children the same promise. Sometimes in spite of never having experienced that promise ourselves. Though it is not easy it can be done.
I am fortunate enough to have been brought into a family as a baby that was about being loving, accepting, working hard, respecting others and, very rich in faith. My Dad always put his families needs before his own. He was extremely intelligent, witty, and musically talented. Was a good man who taught me to many lessons to count. I can on my hope my son will look back someday and say that I was half the dad mine didn’t have to be. I hope that My son can see that biology has nothing to do with being a dad it only means you fathered a child. Think about it, when was the last time you heard a guy say I daded a child? You don’t because Dad is much to personal a word. You don’t Dad a child You are a Dad to a child. You are present Just like my dad was. I think the greatest compliment a parent can get is to called Mom or Dad. Because those word contain so much love in them even when we are upset with them or our own children are up set with us. The are the familiar and not the general.
To all the Dad’s Granddads and any man who has stepped up to the plate and just become because the need was there. I say Happy Dad’s Day and to my own Dad. I miss you each and every day. Each and everyday my good new’s is you where MY DAD! And no words could every describe that gratitude
Well that about wraps it up for now. Just one last thought, though you can father a child you still have to be a dad to them. And to every child that had a Dad count yourself blessed a great many children didn’t have that.
Remember when we volunteer the life we change can be our own.
God Bless and Take CareHelpful Hank
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